Future Considerations’ US-based scout Colin Mayberry gives his thoughts on who from the 2015 NHL Draft class left him impressed, who disappointed and who his sleeper is on draft day.
There were a few extremely impressive players I saw all season, but a defenseman out of Sioux City caught my eye the most. Ryan Zuhlsdorf got better and better every time I saw him play and he certainly opened some eyes this season.
In the first game that I saw, I was not a huge fan of Zuhlsdorf and really questioned his NHL upside. He was not bad, but more like just there. He was very quiet all game long and did not showcase the skills needed to be the two-way defenseman that he is. With that said, he absolutely shined on the international stage during his coming out party at the 2014 World Junior A Tournament in Canada. The first this you notice about Zuhlsdorf is his mobility and his ability to use it to his advantage in all three zones. He can jump up in the rush with confidence or make up ground if he gets beat defensively. Look for him to work on his shot to add another weapon to his game, but even if he does not, he will make an impact in the NHL one day.
This is always a tough section to write. It is never fun criticizing a kid who is 17 or 18 years old, but someone has to be my choice. John Marino out of South Shore in the USPHL is one of the very few kids that disappointed me this season.
After his play last season and the preseason hype this kid received, I was expecting big things from him. I first saw Marino at the 2014 Jersey Hitmen Classic and he has many more holes in his game than positive attributes. He possesses nice vision and agility, but at the same time, he runs around in the defensive zone and showed a lack of mobility. That showcase was one of the first of the season and I also saw him at an event towards the end of the season. Unfortunately, he did not progress that much, if at all, over the course of the season. He should still get drafted and may turn it around, but from what I saw at the start of the year and at the end, I really do not get the hype of Marino.
Alec Broetzman seemingly came out of know where this year and shined all season long for St.Thomas Academy in Minnesota. He was not on anyone’s list to begin, and is still not on many, but proved to be one of the best draft eligible kids in Minnesota high school hockey this season.
I loved Broetzman’s plays from the first drop of the puck. He showed to be a smart, dynamic offensive threat who is dangerous every time he touches the puck. He is extremely versatile and the games that I saw him play this season leave little doubt in my mind about his NHL upside. I am not sure why this kid is not getting more love around the hockey world, but he is a serious prospect who will continue to surprise. Broetzman has everything I would want in a NHL draft prospect and the intangibles to defy all odds to make it.